China May End Decade-Long Ban on Game Consoles

Were you aware that game consoles are banned in China? Due to fears that these devices could harm the physical and mental development of children, seven Chinese ministries decided to ban the manufacture, sale, and import of game consoles a little over a decade ago. Now authorities in Beijing are starting to rethink things.

Citing an anonymous government source, China Daily reports that China is warming to the idea of lifting the ban on game consoles, which would open up a potentially massive market for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to tap into.

"We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market," a source from the Ministry of Culture told China Daily. "However, since the ban was issued by seven ministries more than a decade ago, we will need approval from all parties to lift it."

Xbox Controller

Come console makers already have a presence in China. Sony, for example, has a branch in South China's Guangdong province where it conducts training and research and development, while Microsoft's Kinect motion controller was introduced to the mainland last year. The Kinect isn't used for playing games in China, however, but for medical treatment and educational purposes.

Ironically enough, China is the biggest manufacturing base for Microsoft's Xbox console, even though the market is inaccessible and has a major piracy problem.